Microbiomes are communities of microorganisms—bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae—that live on, in and around people, plants, animals, soil, oceans and the atmosphere. These microbial communities play important roles in everything from human growth and development to food production and climate change.

A better understanding of microbiome development, composition and function—in people and beyond—will continue to inform strategies that harness the power of microbes to foster human and planetary health​.

Microbiome infographic

Advocating For Microbiome Research

Advocacy Priorities

ASM strongly supports investments in microbiome research, as well as in the infrastructure—technology, data standardization, training and workforce—necessary to realize the full potential of those research investments and their application.

ASM advocates for the following:
  • Support for better coordination of and more funding for multidisciplinary microbiome research across the federal government.
  • Workforce development and training in the synthesis of microbiome data and information for practical application.
  • Facilitation of data standardization and sharing, including through continued funding of the National Microbiome Data Collaborative.
  • Continued support for a One Health approach to human health at all levels that reflects the intersections between people, animals, plants and the built environment.


ASM Encourages Swift Action on USICA/America COMPETES

ASM Urges Funding for the National Microbiome Data Collaborative

ASM Requests Increased Funding for NSF, Increased Coordination of Microbiome Research

Hear from Experts


Gut bacteria influence the activity, efficacy and even side effects of medications. Here, we explore how pharmaceutical drugs impact the gut microbiota, and vice versa. We also discuss the use of computational resources to better understand these complex interactions, and their potential utility in clinical care. Papers and key take-away points discussed in this Microbial Minutes are listed below.

Dr. Filipa Godoy-Vitorino discusses how to keep our microbiomes functioning properly in order to prevent diseases, such as cervical cancer.



Drs. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello and Martin Blaser explain the importance of preserving microbial diversity in the human microbiome and discuss their recent involvement in The Invisible Extinction, a documentary about the race to prevent loss of ancestral microbes and save the bacteria that contribute to human health and well-being.

Rachel Dutton discusses her work studying cheese microbiomes, one of the few microbial ecosystem types where almost all of the microorganisms are culturable.

Graciela Lorca studies genetic systems to find positive and negative microbial interactions that lead to disease and describes how specific bacterial strains may help prevent development of diabetes.

Educational Materials